Finland ready to support Namibia

04 Jun 2014 09:40am
HELSINKI, 04 JUN (NAMPA) - Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen says his government will continue to support Namibia in its endeavours to be a developed and industrialised country.
Speaking to Nampa immediately after his meeting with Namibia’s Minister of Trade and Industry Calle Schlettwein in Helsinki on Tuesday, Katainen said the two countries have a strong and historical relationship dating back to Namibia's struggle for independence.
“But currently, there are similarities in that both countries are interested in using their natural resources in a sustainable way, and that gives them new opportunities to upgrade their trade relationship to another height”, he noted.
Katainen said his country is also supporting Namibia’s efforts in creating an integrated market with the European Union, and the two countries need to upgrade the trade relationship through using green technology solutions such as renewable energy.
Finland's fast-growing area is green energy, while in the mining sector there are new technologies which could separate some waste from minerals or metals, and be used as fertilizers or as raw materials for new products.
There is a need in Namibia f or this kind of technologies, and Finland is thus ready to help in transferring such technologies.
“We want to support Namibia in its efforts to enter the integrated market with Europe, which is very important. Finland will support your efforts towards that”, the Finnish premier added.
Namibia has a certain niche in areas like mining, and a new market will ensure growth in trade and investment, he emphasised.
Meanwhile, the country has been steadfast to date in not signing any form of trade agreement with the EU due to unresolved issues regarding market protection, and Namibia’s perceived status as a middle-income country.
Namibia has also expressed concern over a unilateral decision by the EU to set a deadline of 1 October for the signing of such trade agreements, or to forfeit preferential market access into the EU.
For Namibia, the European market is an important trade partner and the country exports meat, dates and high-value grapes as well as fish, amongst other products, to the northern hemisphere.